It has been an outstanding week and with the higher heat index it truly feels like
summer is here. On the flip side four weeks from Monday our son, Phillip, goes
back to school I can’t hardly believe it’s moving so quickly. When a person is
extremely busy the down side is time flies by at a very fast pace.
In the last seven days I have canned 32 pints of bread and butter pickles for home
and about 17 pints for work! I do believe I am pickled out. When I started on
the 32 pints at home I thought I would only have about 14 pints. Halfway into
packing the jars my friend, Jan said: ‘I think I’d better go to town and get more
jars!’ You know how you look at produce and just can’t visualize how many jars
of product it will make? Our pantry shelves will be well stocked for the winter if I
keep this speed up.
Next on my list is homemade salsa. I have about three more weeks before I need
to worry about this project. I will say I’ve been canning some pretty interesting
foods here lately. I’ve been teaching this fabulous homemade mustard sauce and
I’ve found that it cans quite nicely. Also in one of my classes I’m doing Swedish
pancakes with homemade lemon curd. Therefore after the last class is over I have
about two half pints of curd to can. The staff is excited about taking home some
of the leftovers when these classes wrap up.
Whenever I wonder if something can be canned I just ask myself this question
first: Can the grocery store can it? If they preserve, then most likely so can we.
Actually I’ve been asking myself what I want to do for the ‘big’ family Christmas
this year. There’s about 20-23 families in attendance at the December gathering
and we like to take a small gift for everyone. This means another hit on the
bank book for the month of December. If we can in July and use pantry gifts for
this gathering it’s a ‘good thing’. Actually everyone around seems to be doing
Christmas in July. I noticed the television channels were doing Christmas movies
this past weekend. With that said I think I’ll do my fair share and start buying a
few gift cards for the holidays now!
With the pickles you will notice they do not have to soak whatsoever before
they are packed in the jars. This is the first time I’ve encountered a pickle dish
of this nature. This recipe foundation originated with Joyce Patrick, of Reeds
Spring, Missouri. Joyce and her husband run a wonderful fresh produce market
located on old highway 413 just outside Reeds Spring, Missouri. Before I used
this mixture I bought a jar of Joyce’s pickles that she had canned. They were not
only beautiful in the jar, but they were also very crisp. The turmeric and colored
peppers help set off a lovely canned product.
This coming week, our son, Phillip, will be at baseball camp. Every evening we
will be attending the exhibition games, which I’m actually looking forward to. I
won’t be doing any evening projects that’s for sure. I will have to give my ‘fruit
room’ a.k.a. ‘canning pantry’, a good cleaning and reorganizing before I can get all
these bread and butter pickles on the shelves!
Some gardeners will also plant late pickling cukes. If you missed the boat the first
time there may be another opportunity up ahead.
Keep enjoying the fresh fruits of summer. Simply yours, The Covered Dish
Bread and Butter Pickles
Yield: Approximately 14-16 pints
1 peck of pickling cucumbers
(This is between 8 – 9 pounds of pickles.)
14-16 pint jars, sterilized
14-16 flats and rings
7 cups white vinegar
7 cups white granulated sugar
4 tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground celery seed or regular celery seed
In each jar place the following:
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon dry onion flakes
1 garlic clove
2-3 yellow or red peppers, cleaned and cut into thin pieces to add when packing
Wash all pickles scrubbing off the prickly nubs, drain on tea towel.
Place lid flats in a saucepan pan of cold water totally covering the lids.
Slice cucumbers 1/4 inch thick or as thin as you can, for sandwiches, of course!
Assemble jars on a jelly roll pan and place the mustard seed, onion flakes and
garlic clove in the bottom of the jar. Begin packing the sliced cucumbers in the
jars watching for gaps. Add 2-3 pieces or more of pepper for additional color in
Now prepare the white vinegar, granulated sugar, pickling salt, turmeric and
celery seed into a large pot. Stir well to begin dissolving. Turn burner to medium
heat and boil the solution for 5 minutes, using a measuring cup & funnel pour
mixture over the jars of cucumbers. Have a damp lint-free towel ready to wipe
the rims clean after filling. At the same time as you begin to fill the jars turn the
saucepan of flats to medium heat and bring to a boil. Using a clean dry lint-free
towel remove a flat from the boiling water, dry and attach to each jar tightening
down with the jar ring.
Prepare 2-3 large stock pans with warm water for the water bath. Sit 6-7 (usually)
jars in the water making sure the water goes about one inch over the top of the
jars. Bring the canning jars to a hard boil for six minutes. Using canning tongs
remove from the water and set back on a clean jelly roll pan. Cover with a towel
I place the mustard seed, garlic and onion flakes in each individual jar because it
guarantees an even distribution of spices that could easily cluster if placed inside
the vinegar solution.
Do not use table salt for canning as it turns the liquid cloudy.
It is perfectly fine to place thinly sliced onion into the jars with the cucumbers if
you desire to do so.